BELOIT — Kids First Beloit announced construction will begin at The Lincoln Academy, 608 Henry St. this month and provided architectural renderings of the soon-to-be-built school.

Hendricks Commercial Properties is preparing to donate the 4.2-acre site on the Eclipse Center campus to Kids First Beloit, the not-for-profit organization incubated by Beloit 200. Kids First intends to build a three-story, 112,000-square-foot school on the site.

Construction of the school is scheduled for completion in July of 2021.

“This is a great location for The Lincoln Academy,” President of Hendricks Commercial Properties Rob Gerbitz said. “It is in close proximity to the Merrill neighborhood and centrally located with access to public transportation. The location offers a range of partnership opportunities with other Eclipse Center tenants, particularly the Beloit Public Library.”

On May 18 the Beloit City Council approved a conditional use permit allowing for the development of a school on the Eclipse Center campus. The school is being built at the former site of Kohl’s store, which closed when the Eclipse Center was the Beloit Mall. The building is being demolished by Hendricks Commercial Properties.

The Lincoln Academy, a 4K to grade 12 school, received charter approval from the University of Wisconsin Office of Educational Opportunity in May.

“As a 4K-12 model, the school and its design will be unique. We are creatively working to build spaces that support strong academic programming and offer innovative ways to expose scholars not only to careers that exist today, but also provide the flexibility to adapt to the careers of tomorrow,” said Lincoln Academy CEO Kristi Cole.

Kids First Beloit will be setting up a temporary office at 50A Eclipse Center in August. Enrollment for The Lincoln Academy will begin in January of 2021.

Kids First Beloit, Inc. is in the process of scheduling parent information sessions beginning this summer. Information about upcoming sessions can be found on the Kids First Beloit, Inc. website, https://kidsfirstbeloit.com.

The Lincoln Academy model is planned to blend rigorous academics and strong character development with embedded career exploration and experience, beginning in elementary school.

The charter school is planned to be a public school, not a private choice, or voucher, school.

Although charter schools may be authorized through their local school districts, the one proposed by Kids First Beloit has applied to be authorized through the University of Wisconsin System. If authorized as an independent charter, the school would receive state aid per student in the amount of $8,619.